March 26, 2012

How to Disable Google Update, a CPU Hog

How to disable Google Update, a CPU hog.

Auto-updaters can be useful or a major annoyance - they can be useful by keeping your software up to date or an annoyance by running constantly and making your PC unstable.

Google Update on PC’s, an auto-updater, falls in the latter category.

If you have any Google services installed on your PC – Google Earth, Chrome etc – you will have Google Update running.

GoogleUpdate.exe process runs constantly on your PC, sometimes there are multiple copies of the process running - it will slow down your PC tremendously. Even if you kill the GoogleUpdate.exe process in the task manager, it starts again, on its own.

As shown in the screenshot above, often Google’s Update Servers are not available. Instead of backing off, GoogleUpdate.exe gets even more active and will take up your CPU.

To disable Google Updates on your PC –

The example given is for Windows XP; follow similar steps on Windows 7 etc.

Step 1
Uninstall any Google services that you are not using e.g. uninstall Google Earth, Chrome etc.

If all Google services are uninstalled, the following steps may not be needed.

Step 2
Stop Google Update from launching at startup

Start > Run > msconfig > Startup

Uncheck GoogleUpdate

Step 3
Rename the Update folder at
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Google

to a different name e.g. Disabled Update

Remember to rename it back to Update when you do want to update Google services.

Getting updates should be the users choice. Google should have provided a simple way to turn Google Updates off. Unfortunately Google has not provided any way to turn it off, making Google Update exhibit malware like behavior to the user i.e. runs constantly, makes the PC slow and unstable and no easy way to turn it off.

There is a lively discussion at Google product forums discussing this issue - google Pb3e53tLauY.

And, Google’s suggestion - change registry settings to disable Google Update. 

An unlikely pairing - Google Update and Symantec rtvscan are both programs that will make your PC slow and unstable.

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